This words inspire me at this Robben Island, “We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation.” You will feel a cold wave of truth ripple through you as you read this words… and us you ponder it, why Robben Island is just little but home to a Great Man – Mandela.
Nelson Mandela has made this island rise to the face of the world. An island of isolation and imprisonment for prisoners like him to rise up and be a Laureate. I would say, “He feel into the dungeons of this island for 20 years only to rise up with greatest that has shown perseverance, contentment and true spirit of leadership“. I write as I am drawn to what this Island made the most celebrated African leader to be – while working in the quarries for 20 years. Not only did he contract lung infections but it has put him down – and now we miss you Mandela.
Madiba, stepping out of prison made me understand why apartheid had been knocked down on it face. He was the right man at the difficult hour to ascent to power in super power of Africa – South Africa. The words inscribed on this island are true of Nelson Mandela. I wish that life should have reward him more years like the island itself but I join the world at large to ponder that Madiba had seen a lot and worth he rested. May be more that I can’t narrate better than the walls of his prison room as prisoner number 46664 at Robben Island.
Robben Island – 20 of 27 years
Robben Island is 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. It is oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an approximately area of 5.07 km². Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 20 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid.
Robben Island Museum
This island was not only been used as a prison (1961 -1996). History has it as a training and defence station for World War II (1939-1945) and a hospital for people with leprosy, and the mentally and chronically ill (1846-1931). It was a hospital because it was regarded as both secure – isolated from mainland and a place to find healing – healthy.
The last political prisons left this island in 1991. By 1996 other prisoners were moved and it closed its doors as a correction facility. In 1997 it was officially set aside as a museum and by 1999 was recognised as World Heritage Site. It holds rich history of not only South Africa or Africa but the rest of changing world. As all are a witness of this as we mourn Mandela!
I dread rains especially the sudden downpour when there was sweat sunshine hours ago. In this tropical country who would want wet weather throughout the year. Not only do humans in this country avoid rain but also their carriages are adversely affected. I recall one legendary singer who sang that Nairobians fear rain more than cars on the road.
He was correct. Think of rain and you start running for a shelter – may be stopping/cancelling all day’s business plans. Media house would have another story to cover that evening. With headlines of “Transport has been paralyzed in many parts of Nairobi following a sudden heavy downpour this afternoon”. Even the gorvernor would agree that many of the city’s roads are rendered impassable leading to heavy traffic just because of drop of water from the sky. This situation adversely impacts transport and commutters are always stranded in the town Centre.
My recent encounter was on the superhighway. Barely two years after completion of Thika. It is seems to be a no go zone with heavy downpour in our city. This Thika superhighway was heavily flooded and if you drove a vitz – lucky if you went through the sea on our superhighway.
Just few minutes of rain renders Thika Superhighway impassable. Motorist reduce their speeds to near zero, as the water fills the road. It is a superwaterway maybe and not a highway. I almost gave a tick to this completed road but drainage has left me the opposite. The authority has neglected the drains despite the Chinese doing a commendable work. More blame is direct towards us, some residents fill drains with garbage and all form of plastic. When it rains, water is therefore left with nowhere to go, but to fill the road. Lets stop this, think global while acting locally.
Steps to green future
Kigali City 2040
Kigali the capital city of Rwanda. A country whose dreams were almost shuttered two decades ago. The city is a true reflection of Rwandese flag symbol – rising sun. It is a rising star whose rays shine brighter than before.
Who said once beaten twice shy. This is not the case for Rwanda especially Kigali. Although the scars of inhumanity atrocities remain as a reminder of 1994 but these men and women have woken to be a force to reckon in East and Central Africa.
It takes political will for a nation to nearly achieve its desires. Kigali home to the most respected President Paul Kagame, it has set plans to expand as a hub of economic development. Not only favourable policies in the region but every businessman is thinking of Rwanda. Kigali will host major companies on the continent and overtake likes of South Africa cities and even Kenya.
This is a country where the capital city has a master plan drafted by technocrats and was publicly unveiled on 23rd Jan 2013. This plan dubbed the Kigali City 2040 provides much needed guidelines and designs in infrastructure development for developing world cities. Visit the city website and you would like it.
A big plus to this plan is providing solutions to reduce environmental threats and planners ensure that Kigali developments do not jeopardize the environmental sustainability of the city. Centralized waste management systems and advance technologies will be implemented. Borrowing from green parks of developed cities, Kigali city will have green parks and visual display leaves wordless… this is bliss.These are green breathers and will reduce carbon emmissions.
We foresee a world class competition of cities. The Kenya’s Konza city and Kigali city in next twenty years. Key among other factors would be friendly investment policies. Considering it takes a day in Rwanda and you have your company registered, who would be the darling of the investors?
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